Sustainable wood energy from North Karelia
Eastern Finland is a world leader in forestry technology. That is where Wenet Centre – a sustainable energy expertise network – was born, giving the regional expertise in this field an international boost.
Wenet Network in North Karelia region has exported wood energy expertise from its launch in 2004. The Network has since expanded to cover the entire area of eastern Finland and the sustainable energy field in a broader sense. The EU-funded cross-regional project, Wenet Centre, which kicked off in 2009, aimed at further strengthening the region’s position on the renewable energy market. Consisting of sustainable energy companies, as well as research and education and training institutes, the Centre searched for the most suitable solutions in energy services for its clients, and enabled networking among experts.
More international opportunities for regional energy actors
With the aim of bringing together the best sustainable expertise in eastern Finland, Wenet Centre wished to help local companies to become strong international players in the field.
The project focused on improving the marketing aspects of energy products and services on an international level. It also prepared projects boosting export opportunities and organising export and internationalisation visits in eastern Finland. All in all, the main goal was to make local actors in sustainable energy become more international and more competitive in the sustainable energy market, which is becoming more and more competitive.
Covering the entire production chain
With a network of nearly 30 companies working with sustainable energy, and more than 15 organisations from eastern Finland and beyond, Wenet Centre managed to bring together energy expertise and technology covering the entire energy production chain: energy wood harvesting, transportation, district heating and customer interface, converting wood ash into fertiliser, etc. The Centre also provided related research and training services, as well as environmental impact assessment reports.
"The outcome of the project was that companies and organisations working with sustainable energy created a tighter network; we managed to create international partnerships and transfered our knowledge and technology to Canada, Russia and EU countries,” Jouko Parviainen, the project manager, summarises the benefits of the project. "Thanks to the project, eastern Finland has gained visibility as a pioneer in the field, boosting the competitiveness of the local experts, especially within wood energy and forest bioeconomy."
Total and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Wenet Centre – provides a boost to export and internationalisation of sustainable energy solutions through cross-regional cooperation” is EUR 464 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 162 400 through the “Eastern Finland” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.